Miscanthus harvest demo announced to feed regional interest

As a new biomass power station in Norfolk fuels an increased demand for miscanthus in the county, farmers are invited to a harvest demonstration this March to find out more about growing the crop.

East Norfolk miscanthus growers, Bill and Tom Lewis, are opening their farm on 27 March so that other farmers can learn more about the processes involved with growing, cutting and baling the crop.

Bill has around 30 hectares of miscanthus and believes that since Snetterton power station opened last year, there’s even more reason to consider it as a lucrative option with a sustainable future.

“The price for miscanthus increases every year, as has our yield, and Snetterton power station has a long-term commitment to using the fuel,” he said.

“We’re arable and sheep farmers, and miscanthus is a secure buffer for the farm, when cereal prices continue to be volatile, and with Brexit around the corner.”

The walk is co-hosted by miscanthus specialist, Terravesta. “The company supply the rhizomes, support farmers through growing and harvesting the crop, and buy bales annually, to supply power stations, which they have long-term contracts with,” added Bill.

“Terravesta has a 15-year contract to ramp up supply to 25,000 tonnes into Snetterton Power Plant, which is roughly 10 percent of the total supply into the plant,” said Alex Robinson, Terravesta operations manager. “We also have a 14-year contract to supply Brigg Renewable Energy Power Plant in Lincolnshire.

“We have huge ambitions and we’re making continued investment into new markets for the crop, which include large scale power generation, and as a fuel for the wider commercial energy market.”

The miscanthus harvest demonstration will take place at Abbey Farm, Kings Lynn, run by kind permission of Bill Lewis and his son Tom.

To book onto the farm walk visit www.terravesta.com or contact Terravesta on 01522 731873 or info@terravesta.com.

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